Pharmaceutical Giant Pays Idaho $2.5 Million in Settlement

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Idaho will soon be banking $2.5 million as a result of a settlement between Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden's office and pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca. The settlement is the result of an investigation into drug pricing.

According to the AG, one unit of Prilosec, manufactured by AstraZeneca, had a published average wholesale price of $4.13, but an investigation revealed an actual average wholesale price of $3.29, a 26-percent difference.

"Where published prices are false or misleading, the taxpayers are significantly harmed by excessive Medicaid reimbursements," said Wasden. "Misrepresenting the wholesale price is a violation of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act."

While AstraZeneca admitted no liability or wrongdoing, it agreed to the $2.5 million payment. More than $260,000 will go to the state's General Fund, $50,000 will go to the consumer protection account, and more than $1.5 million will be applied as a credit against the federal government's next payment to Idaho Medicaid.

UPDATE:

A spokesman for AstraZeneca reiterated to Citydesk that the company agreed to the settlement though denied liability.

"Although we deny liability, after years of costly litigation, we believe that this agreement was the appropriate way to resolve this matter quickly and allow the company to focus on our core mission to deliver meaningful medicines to patients," read the official company comment.